Archive for November, 2004


Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

This week Toby’s gotten really into songs, and has started asking for songs specifically by name, and singing them so that we can actually tell what they are. Usually he’ll just do the first couple of words, but this morning in the car he sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star pretty much all the way through. It’s probably largely because Emma’s had one of his CDs in the car – it’s Little People doing various children’s songs. Not quite as nauseating as you might think because the arrangements are smart enough to keep grown-ups interested. However it does get kind of old. I’m thinking it’s time for a change, and while I was at the hairdresser’s last night I saw in Esquire magazine a plug for The Amazing Adventures of Kid Astro by Ralph’s World which is for children, but quite Beatles/Queen/grown-up music influenced. I checked out the clips on Amazon today and it sounds just fab, so I’ve put it on Toby’s wish list if you’re, for example, a cool uncle who wants to help Toby in his musical education while simultaneously making his parents happy.

gosford park

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

Over the weekend Em and I finally got round to joining a new DVD rental store just round the corner from us – Cinema Revolution. They have a small but excellent selection of indie, international and classic movies, plenty that we’vebeen meaning to see but haven’t yet. Our first pick, which we watched last night, was Gosford Park, which came out a couple of years ago and is directed by Robert Altman. It’s basically a whodunnit and is located in a huge country estate in 1932. There’s lots of intrigue and double-crossing as the lives of the wealthy weekend guests intermingles with the people downstairs – the hardworking servants. I particularly enjoyed the subtleties involved, and to be honest I don’t think one viewing was enough, and there are plenty of interesting looking extras on the disc, so we may well need to rent it again. Our domestic challenge in watching films of this sort are that Emma loves working out the plot as she goes, which is all well and good except she’s always at least one step ahead of me, and usually needs to express her hunches out loud. We managed to avoid any fallings out last night though as we were both quite engrossed in the movie.

Tonight, if I can lug the box home, I have the excitement of setting up our new TiVo. I’ve been thinking of getting one for ages, if for no other reason than to avoid having to watch ads, which will save about 15 minutes per hour of viewing. What efficiency!

the “right”

Monday, November 8th, 2004

Our Dean at St Mark’s told us on Sunday that the election and its outcome has provided something of a pastoral crisis – he’s been having lots of calls from congregants wanting to talk things through and nervous about how the country’s going and how Christianity fits into the whole mix. Personally I’ve been wondering how “my” version of Christianity and the very rightwing version of Christianity can fit together and come from the same source and be influenced by the same spirit, when it appears to be so much at odds. The only answers I can come up with so far are that 1) I’m wrong about the whole thing, which I don’t think so, partly because I think I have a fair understanding of the Bible, particularly the Gospels and my personal feeling is that if you’re a Christian then what Jesus says should trump pretty much anything else. So loving your neighbor and caring for people is more important than persecuting people, for example. Or 2) the religious Right is in fact wrong, but they do seem remarkably sure of themselves. But are they just money and power-grabbing leaders who are using bigotry to shore up their power and money or what? In which case how do they manage to delude so many people? Maybe it’s by saying again and again how right they are and drowning out people who are actually in the know. Or 3) The whole thing is bogus. Which is maybe the most depressing thought of all three.

great idea

Friday, November 5th, 2004

I think this is a grand idea. It would save Emma, Toby and me having to go to all the trouble of selling our house and renting a truck so that we could move to Canada! Unfortunately there would be lots of good old liberals in the south who would feel kind of dejected. I read An Empire Wilderness by Robert Kaplan a couple of years ago (Emma bought it for me) and it pointed out the many similarities between the West Coast of Canada and of the US; same thing on the East Coast. It almost went as far as suggesting that this continent should have been divided into vertical countries, rather than horizontal.

at last

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

Well I guess we know the results now and I must say that I’m not happy that the Reps have the White House, the Senate and Congress. No matter who’s doing it, having one party controlling all three is a recipe for disaster. Plus we have to see blimmin’ Bush on TV for four more years – ugh. Having said that, at least we know and there’s a certain relief now it’s all over (mostly).

So here are my quick thoughts, for what they’re worth:

1) Hopefully this means that the Dems will step back and re-examine who they are and do it right next time

2) Gives me an excuse to look for jobs in Canada, from where we would be able to tsk at those crazy Americans

3) At least Minnesota went for Kerry. My friend Fiona lives in Ohio, where the economy has been hammered by Bush and unemployment is way higher than here. So Fiona, what’s up with that?

4) We get to make “John Kerry – why the long face?” jokes

5) As the Onion points out, at least Kerry gets not to have to be president. Don’t fancy that job much


Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

Apparently there’s huge turnout for voting today, which I hope hope hope means that there’s a sea change coming.

Toby’s talking is coming on still – obviously, because he has a long way to go to fluency. He was very cute last night – he was sat eating a yoghurt, which he loves, but halfway down the pot he said that he was all done. I went over to help him get the rest of the yoghurt out of the bottom – he was just having problems reaching it with his spoon. After a couple of scoops I said I hoped I wasn’t interfering and was it OK that I was doing this. He said “thank you daddy helping yoghurt”, which was very polite and sweet, and the longest sentence I’ve heard him say.

vote vote vote

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

There are lots of people in the office wearing “I Voted” stickers. I should make one for me and other alien friends of mine saying “I pay taxes and I live here and I really care but I can’t vote”. Maybe that’s a bit long-winded. But if you’re reading this and you are eligible to vote and haven’t yet, please go and do so. If you haven’t made up your mind and need a nudge, please consider voting for Kerry-Edwards – I just think that they seem to respect actual people a bit more than the other side. Thanks.